Have you ever read an article online or listened to a podcast, pause and say: “…what does that even mean!?”
We know that the nerd-iverse is filled with words and terms that sound like a foreign language to normal people, so good news, everybody – the 2 Fanboys and 1 Casual crew is here to help! We’re going to compile an ongoing and evolving dictionary of nerdy terms. A mighty DORK-tionary! This will come in handy when trying to figure out why some fans hate one version of Batman but love another, and what exactly is that YouTube comment really talking about. Got any other words or phrases that confuse you? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages! Let’s get to it!
Buff : (verb) to make a character stronger, smarter or more powerful than before, typically without . Usually done to when a writer or creator has run out of ideas of how to get out hero out of a jam. “They had to buff Captain America for him to go toe-to-toe with Iron Man in Civil War.”
Face : (noun) The good gal/guy or hero of our story. The term originates from pro wrestling but is used by geeks to describe heroes in all genres now. Short for ‘babyface‘, cause how can you hate on a baby’s face, you monster?! “How can you say that Machete was the face of the story, especially with that crazy high kill count?”
Fridged : (verb) To kill a character, usually to the effect of making our hero jump into action. The victims of fridging are usually the female love interests of the hero, reducing the characters as nothing but a plot device to get the plot going. The term “fridged” comes from a controversial 90’s Green Lantern comic book story line where the Green Lantern’s girlfriend was gruesomely killed and then unceremoniously stuffed into a refrigerator by the villain. “I’ve lost count of how many women have been fridged to get under Kyle Raynor’s skin”.
Heel : (noun) The bad guy! Also taken from pro wrestling speak, can be used to describe bad folks in all genres of pop culture. To describe someone going from the good side to the bad can be called a heel turn, similar to when wrestlers would change allegiances “Hulk Hogan turning on WCW and becoming “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan was the ultimate heel turn. Also, f*** that guy.”
Hot Take : (noun) a typically controversial opinion or statement that goes against the grain of fandom. “Excuse my hot take, but I really don’t think LeBron was a good addition to the Lakers.”
Jabroni : (noun) a low level character who’s sole purpose is to lose, get hurt or even die to make the main hero look good. “I don’t know why they bother casting so many Orcs in the Lord of the Rings. They’re just jabronis for Legolas to kill anyway.”
MacGuffin : (noun) an object or person that was put in the story to keep the action started or to keep it going. “The whole point of Finn and Rose’s trip to the casino planet was to chase a MacGuffin character that added nothing and added fluff to the movie!”
Nerf : (verb) to make a character weaker. The opposite of ‘buff’ usually done to when a creator can’t think of anything better to do with their character. It’s a reference to the classic Nerf toy line, that uses pain-free foam bullets for their guns. “Michael Bay really nerfed Megatron when it was revealed he was just taking orders from another guy.”
Retcon : (verb) the abbreviated version of “RETroactive CONtinuity”, the term was popularized in comic book message boards. In popular fiction, a retcon is when a creator places a person or event in the story’s past, even if that person or event had never been referenced before. Typically used to create new conflict where there wasn’t before. Results can be hit & miss – a rational retcon can make a story better while a nonsensical retcon will send fans into the deepest of nerd rage. “The retcon of Sandman being Uncle Ben’s killer in Spider-Man 3 really ruined the franchise for me.”